Headlines and Titles of Works

Q. I’m editing a university press book about the romance genre in England with references and comparisons to the rest of Europe. My question is about CMOS 8.47, which indicates “Continental cuisine; but continental breakfast.” This MS uses “continental” to modify any number of objects and concepts. Which are the exceptions, and which the rule (and why)?

A. Just between you and me, I suspect many editors struggle with these subtleties. I assume that CMOS takes its lead from Merriam-Webster, which certainly leaves me scratching my head. A good strategy is to ask the author if he or she capped and lowercased according to a plan, and if not, then you are justified in styling as you think best—perhaps lowercasing the adjective but capping “the Continent.” Just keep a record in your style sheet.